A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has flown to the Mediterranean to participate in NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian 2022.
Sea Guardian 2022 is an ongoing non-Article 5 NATO operation to bolster maritime situational awareness, security, anti-terrorism, and regional interoperability in the Mediterranean.
The participation of Australia reflects “Australia’s ongoing partnership” in exercising its Memorandum of Understanding with NATO, according to Australia Joint Operations Chief Lieut. Gen. Greg Bilton.
“Australia is a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner and an important Asia-Pacific member for the Alliance,” the chief explained.
“Our partner status recognises Australia’s significant contributions to NATO operations and the value that the Australian Defence Force has demonstrated over several decades.”
Australia’s Interoperability with NATO
During its deployment, the P-8A aircraft will be based in Italy and join operations throughout the Western and Central Mediterranean until mid-October this year.
“Our participation in Operation SEA GUARDIAN is an opportunity to extend Australia’s interoperability with the alliance to the maritime air surveillance domain,” Bilton said.
“I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the deployment, which will guide our future maritime surveillance cooperation with NATO.”